Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
Otoplasty can improve the shape or positioning of your ears. It also can reduce the size of your ears if they are large in proportion to your other features. Surgery may also be helpful for "lop ear," "cupped ear" and "shell ear," large or stretched earlobes, and lobes with creases and wrinkles. If your ears protrude more than normal, surgery can reposition them closer to your head.
Who are good candidates for Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)?
Candidates for Otoplasty may be anyone who feels self-conscious about their ears and wants to improve their appearance. Ear surgery often is recommended for children as they near total ear development at age five or six. Correction of the ears prior to the child entering school helps to eliminate potential psychological trauma from the teasing of classmates. Adults may also have their ears reshaped.
It is also important that you are in good general health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Discuss your goals of Otoplasty with Dr. Conkright so that you can achieve the results you desire.
How is Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) performed?
The procedure lasts from two to three hours and may be performed in a hospital, office-based facility or an outpatient surgery center under general or local anesthesia. The supporting tissue of the ears, called cartilage, is reshaped in order to position your ears closer to your head. This usually is accomplished through incisions placed behind your ears. Subsequent scars will be concealed in the natural skin crease.
What is recovery like for Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)?
After surgery, you may be instructed to wear a gauze dressing or bandage for a few days or up to several weeks to ensure that your ears heal in their new, corrected position. You will need to avoid strenuous exercise and contact sports for several weeks. You can resume most non-strenuous activities within a week and most patients return to work or school within five to seven days.
What are the risks / complications associated with Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)?
Possible risks include: infection of cartilage, excessive scarring, blood clots that may need to be drained, mismatched or artificial-looking ears, and recurrence of the protrusion requiring repeat surgery.